Thursday, April 28, 2011

So You're an Abortioneer : The Impact on Your Kids

Here’s to our second Yummy Mummy and Sassy Daddy’s Guide to Abortioneering. Last week, we talked about how to break it to your kids that you’re an abortioneer. This week, we’re talking about how kids can be impacted by our work and tips to help them talk to others.

Kids probably won’t really talk about their parents’ work until they’re at least in kindergarten. Maybe even first or second grade. During those years, you may not have told them you’re an abortioneer. Whatever age you do tell them, it might help to offer suggestions to your child how you think they can talk about it with others. If you live in a conservative community, it might be something along the lines of what your actual position is within abortioneering (like “my mommy’s a doctor,” or “my daddy works in a lab”). When your kids get involved in sports, church events, scouts, etc. other parents will ask you about your work. You will have probably already decided how you want to handle these questions and we’ve talked about this a lot on our blog. Your community will help dictate how safe you feel about outing yourself and how much you are willing to handle any fall-out for your kids as a result.

Because, well, there will be fall outs. Your kids will be impacted by your profession and it’s best to be as realistic and prepared as possible. You’ll want to set some guidelines for yourself. If your kid gets called a baby killer at school, what will be your response? (Call the school? The teacher? Talk to the parents of that child? Ignore it? Just talk to your child?) Before you had kids, you might’ve felt fine telling most people you’re an abortioneer. You might not feel quite the same after having kids because you don’t want your kids to be harassed. There are horror stories, including kids being called:
- baby killers
- parents being called baby killers
- kids not allowed to play with certain friends anymore
- being basically shunned from activities

These can be hard lessons for kids...and us, too! It’s also a life lesson though: a lesson in being picky about who are friends are, what a friend means, and how to stand up for yourself. This is where your family values come in and it will be super important for you to convey the life lessons you want your children to learn under these circumstances. Some kids can become very confident and find their own voice – when they’re ready – to stand up for their own beliefs on abortion. When in high school or so, they’ll probably feel they can defend abortion without outing you at the same time; instead, they’d be defending their own personal beliefs. That doesn’t mean it is easy for them, though. And I wouldn’t be too surprised if at some point, your child challenges your views. This is normal and it’s part of growing up; however, it can be hard when your teenager hates that you’re an abortioneer and wants you to quit!!

...And we haven’t even talked about if your clinic is under security threats. Be prepared to have your children and family want you to quit then, too. Again, you’ll have to decide as a family, and as an individual, how far you’re willing to go under these circumstances. Are you willing to put up with any shit that gets thrown at you? What if protesters come to your home? What if you get threatening letters? Do you draw the line in the sand when threats at work become threats at home? Or do you draw the line with threats that stay at work? You may not know until you’re in that situation. Most abortioneers I know feel very differently about security concerns at work after becoming a parent. Most are much more nervous, take it much more seriously, and are less willing to put up the shit we all put up with. You’ll also want to decide how much to tell your child about security threats. (When to tell them? Do you ever tell them? How do you teach them to be vigilant and aware of their surroundings, too, without freaking them out?)

Most of the parents I know are very cautious who they tell they’re an abortioneer to. Especially parents whose kids are very active in extracurricular activities. They maintain the vague answer, “I work at a health clinic,” blah blah. I know parents who have children in high school and college that haven’t ever been outted. I know parents who have had their small child outted. Usually, though, it came down to who the abortioneer chose to trust to out themselves to.

My instinct is to be very protective of my children. I prefer to be very, very cautious about my work and have only outted myself to one teacher. I have chosen to protect my children by rarely outing myself. You may have a different view.
Let us know what you think!

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